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We Can Give Every Moment (+ Happy B'day, Mom!)
Today, among other things, Shandip and the Veerayatan community held a uniquely formatted event with about 150 community members from the Indian community. It started with everyone circling up in small groups of 10 to introduce themselves, followed by a short talk, and then a circle again about how everyone would like to step up their service with "multiple forms of capital". By the end, they formed a Whatsapp group to do a 21-day kindness challenge and keep encouraging each other to serve in small ways.
One of the circles held the question: why step up the service, and why multiple forms? We step up the service to break the barriers that keep our unconscious patterns of selfishness buzzing. And we do it with all forms of capital to learn that we don't give when we "have", but rather we can give in every moment.
One parent brainstormed, "My daughter raises money for charity on her birthdays, but I wonder if she can do 23 acts of kindness when she turns 16?" And bunch more thoughtful ideas and reflections: "I've always given to those on the streets. Perhaps I can invite one of them to my home for coffee?" "Since I spend 40 hours at work, why don't I think of that as a space for service?" "I have two special needs children, and maybe I can organize their friends to meditate or do a kindness flash mob?" "Everyone understands money, but if I give in other ways, what if I get rejected?"
Few days later, I got a sweet email: "Ever since I heard you share about how we should have the capacity to empty our wallets whenever our heart is moved, I've been walking the streets with that idea. Finally, I did it today. I saw a homeless man, opened up my wallet, and gave him all that I had. It was about 55 pounds. Needless to say, it was very moving. He said he will go back to Romania, the country where he is from."
They are planning a follow-up event in six months, with stories from their experiences following-up on their intent.
As an act of kindness, everyone sang Happy Birthday to my mom, too. :)